92. To HORACE MANN.
Hougliton., Aug. 20, 1742.
BY the tediousness of the post, and distance of place, I am still receiving letters from you about the Secret Committee, which seems strange, for it is as much forgotten now, as if it had happened in the last reign. Thus much I must answer you about it, that it is possible to resume the inquiry upon the Eeport next session ; but you may judge whether they will, after all the late promotions.
We are willing to believe that there are no news in town, for we hear none at all: Lord Lovel sent us word to-day that he heard, by a messenger from the Post Office, that Montemar1 is put under arrest. I don't tell you this for news, for you must know it long ago; but I expect the confirmation of it from you next post. Since we came hither I have heard no more of the King's journey to Flanders: our troops are as peaceable there as on Hounslow Heath, except some bickerings and blows about beef with butchers2, and about sacraments with friars. You know the English can eat no meat, nor be civil to any G-od, but their own.
LETTER 92.—l Montemar had retired, for want of supplies, before the Austrians and Piedmontese. He was, in consequence, recalled to Madrid to explain his conduct.
2 'Extract of a Private Letter from Ghent. On the 3rd Instant, at Night, some English Soldiers being in the Market Place, one of them, as the Butchers say, stole a Piece of Meat, hut the Soldiers say, that he only took it up to smell if it •was sweet; upon which the Butcher cut him, across the Pace with a Knife, and one of the Soldiers run the Butcher through the Body. Immediately the Pray became general; the Butchers with Knives and
Cleavers, and the Burghers with old rusty Swords and Spits, killed some of the Soldiers; but twelve Dragoons coming to the Relief of the Foot, cut down all before them, and put the Mob to Flight. The rest of the Soldiers were, by Direction of the Officers, lock'd up in the Barracks. The Tumult continued above two Hours, and several were killed on both Sides. On this Occasion the Magistrates assembled, and ordered an Edict to be issued, that whoever should offer the least Affront to the Subjects of the King of Great Britain, should be whipt, biirnt in the Back, and turned out of the Town.' (Gent. Mag., 1742, p. 890.)